16 Oct 2019
Wilbert Das / D.A.S.
Casa Cajueiro is designed, decorated, and landscaped by the Dutch designer Wilbert Das, creator of Uxua, a ten-year-old sustainability-focused Brazilian hotel and spa, and artisanal decor, fashion and accessory brand.
The brief casa description below is quoted from TMagazine instagram feed, September 26, 2019:
"When a Belgian media magnate approached the fashion executive turned hotelier Wilbert Das (@wilbeedee) in 2015 to create Casa Cajueiro, a six-bedroom vacation home replacing an older home near the town’s historic center facing the jungle and named for the cashew tree growing in the middle of its six-acre plot, she gave the designer creative carte blanche. After his first site visit, Das drew blueprints for a 12,000-square-foot home based on a disjointed floor plan that would preserve 14 of the property’s mature mango, star fruit, cinnamon, jackfruit and almescar trees. Five white stucco suites and one of reclaimed wood, each a hermetic world of its own, branch out from a shared block of common spaces that torques around the central tree, offering expansive views to the ocean. At Casa Cajueiro, Das decided to explore the Brazilian Modernist tradition that had been refined throughout the 20th century by both local designers and their counterparts from abroad, who, like him, had found their way to the country and decided to stay. What would Modernism look like, he wondered, if it had been invented in Trancoso?"
In my prior career as a creative director I was fortunate to pursue design of many different product categories – from fashion to furnishings – and introduce values into my work, such as a 2007 ad campaign I’m still proud of shot by Terry Richardson depicting a future world impacted by global warming.
As the planet was changing I questioned the role of products I was creating; their impact on people who produced and consumed them. I proposed a major industrial project of sustainable fashion in 2004, but it never gained traction within the industry probably because of my lack of salesmanship – something I still regret.
That same year I discovered Trancoso, starting Uxua with a mission to promote innovative and beautiful design with a sustainability focus. Working in a remote area we involved all the talents of our community, trying to rescue traditional craft from extinction as industrialization began arriving.
Introducing contemporary design ideas and concepts of recycling, a new rustic modernity evolved and international attention came, provoking many young people to return to family trades passed on for generations, interrupting a cycle of abandoning making things in favor of buying them.
The birth of Trancoso’s micro-economy of craft made Casa Cajueira possible in Brazil, where sustainability success stories are desperately needed to counter political postures unfortunately threatening our whole planet.